Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers

A 3-Hour Faculty Development Course on the University of Missouri-Columbia Campus

June 10 – June 14, 2019

Sponsored by:
MU Student Section of the American Nuclear Society / MU Chapter of the Health Physics Society, MU Student Chapter of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, AmerenUE Callaway Plant, American Nuclear Society, Health Physics Society, Missouri University Research Reactor, University of Missouri-Columbia

  • About the NE7313 Course
    The University of Missouri-Columbia’s NE 7313: Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers — a week-long, three-credit-hour course on the MU campus — is designed for STEM instructors who wish to develop a deeper understanding of nuclear science and to bring this information to their classrooms. The class provides the basics of nuclear science, types of radiation (including radiation detection and protection), industrial applications of nuclear science, and current and future nuclear power generation technologies (including Small Modular Reactors). Presentations will be technically oriented at an introductory graduate level, and are structured for secondary teachers of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, earth sciences, and related subjects. Costs for participation in this class are paid by course sponsors (please see “Credit, Housing, and Education Cost Waivers” section, below).Over 750 teachers have attended our past classes, representing over 250 schools across Missouri and the Midwest. The course instructor and guest speakers are subject experts on nuclear science and its engineering applications, and current topics in nuclear energy. They have worked extensively with regional high schools and community groups in educational projects.Contributing organizations that provide information and other resources used in this course include: Ameren/UE, University of Missouri Research Reactor, American Nuclear Society, the MU Student Chapter of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, and the Health Physics Society.

  • Class Curriculum
    The curriculum targets the Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas in the Physical Sciences, PS.1: Matter and Its Interactions (including HS-PS1-8), and will be presented at an introductory graduate level. As can be seen from the preliminary course schedule, topics in the first two days of the class cover fundamental aspects of nuclear phenomena include: atomic and nuclear physics, radioactive decay, nuclear reactions, types of radiation, radiation detection and units, and interactions of radiation with matter. The second half of the course will be devoted to engineering applications of nuclear science: agricultural, industrial, medical, and research applications, as well as nuclear energy systems: light water fission reactors (reactor principles and thermodynamics, reactor control, safety), nuclear waste transportation and disposal, and a brief review of fusion systems (principles and current status of research) and proposed advanced fission reactor designs.Basic hands-on laboratory experiments are scheduled to illustrate radiation detection and analysis using several types of radiation detectors. [Note: Teachers completing this class will be eligible to borrow MURR’s GM kits for use in their home school classrooms.] The class also includes demonstrations of reactor control and materials analysis methods, including Neutron Activation Analysis and X-Ray Fluorescence. Tours during the course will include the Callaway Nuclear Center, the University of Missouri’s Research Reactor Facility, and MU’s Nuclear Medicine therapy and diagnostic clinics.

  • Credit, Housing and Education Cost Waivers:
    Three hours of graduate credit from MU will be available to teachers taking this class. Information on enrolling at MU to receive course credit will be sent to persons selected for participation. Credit is not applicable to a graduate degree in Engineering at MU, but may apply to other graduate degrees in education or science. Please consult your home university or department concerning the application of credit for hours relevant to physics, thermodynamics, chemistry, and other physical and biological sciences. Applications for enrollment at MU will be sent to those persons selected for participation in the course.
  • Most costs of attending this class will be covered for each participant. The tuition and fees for the three hours of graduate credit will be paid for teachers selected to participate in the NE 7313 class. [Note: Teachers who will be enrolled in additional classes at MU during the Summer 2019 term should contact us regarding fees.]For participants not commuting to the course, University housing will be arranged, with breakfast provided. Parking, textbook materials, and lunch will be provided for all class participants. Participants staying at other than University housing will assume responsibility for arranging and financing their own accommodations. Costs not covered include: travel to/from Columbia, daily commuting costs for those not staying in MU housing, and an approximately $65 Graduate School application fee to enroll at MU for the 3 hours of credit.

  • Selection Criteria and Number of Participants:
    Up to 25 participants will be selected from applications received on a “first come, first served” basis. Applications for enrollment at MU will be sent to those persons selected for participation in the course. Costs of attending the course will be paid by the sponsoring organizations, as noted above in the Credit, Housing, and Cost Waiver section of this brochure. Participants must be secondary school science teachers with at least two years of teaching experience, earned a bachelors degree from an accredited institution, and be currently engaged in teaching.The University of Missouri does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or status as a protected veteran. Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is also prohibited. The University’s nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its employment process, its admission and financial aid programs, and to all other aspects of its educational programs and activities. For the full Statement of Nondiscrimination, visit

  • Course Faculty:
    The primary instructor and facilitator for the Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers course is Dr. William H. Miller,whose teaching and technical expertise is summarized below. Guest speakers will provide additional course lectures on specialized topics in the curriculum; these will include professionals at the Missouri University Research Reactor and other organizations who are affiliated with the American Nuclear Society, the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the Health Physics Society, and other agencies.
  • William H. Miller (Course Director) – PhD, University of Missouri, 1976; Professional Engineer (Missouri); Certified Health Physicist. Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering. Areas of specialization: nuclear instrumentation development; public information on energy systems and energy education; sustainable energy systems and resources; non-destructive testing using nuclear techniques.
For an application form and a preliminary schedule for the
Summer 2019 NE 7313 course, please contact:
Dr. William H. Miller, University of Missouri-Columbia Research Reactor
University of Missouri-Columbia  1513 Research Park Drive, Columbia, Missouri  65211 
Phone:  (573) 884-2332       Email: 
Preliminary Summer 2019 NE7313 schedule